Rep. Dunsby to Host a Series of Town Hall Forums in the 135th District for Interested Constituents

Posted on May 16, 2018 by rjoslyn


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EASTON State Rep. Adam Dunsby (R-135) is inviting his constituents to three post-session town hall events he is holding with his fellow legislators throughout the 135th district.  The dates are: June 4 in Redding, June 5 in Easton, and June 12 in Weston.  He will offer residents of Easton, Redding & Weston an opportunity to discuss with him pieces of legislation that passed this year and other issues pertaining to the conclusion of the 2018 legislative session.

 

Anyone unable to attend but would like to speak to Rep. Dunsby can reach him at Adam.Dunsby@housegop.ct.gov. Sen. Boucher can be reached at toni.boucher@cga.ct.gov, Sen. Hwang can be reached at tony.hwang@cga.ct.gov, and Rep. Duff can be reached at Will.Duff@housegop.ct.gov.

Rep. Dunsby Update: Conclusion of the 2018 Legislative Session

Posted on May 15, 2018 by rjoslyn


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The legislative session ended at midnight on Wednesday, May 9th. This session was intended for budget adjustments to the full, two-year budget adopted last October and to consider additional legislation, which as always, there was a lot of.

Connecticut’s budget, which had been drifting into deficit, was reprieved by an, apparently, unanticipated revenue boost from the repatriation of offshore profits by financial firms. This windfall, in excess of $1 billion, will be used to cover shortfalls and to bolster programs.

The Republican budget adjustment plan proposed that one third of that excess surplus be put in the underfunded state employees’ pension fund, one third into the teachers’ pension fund, and one third into the rainy day fund. This would have increased the funding ratio of these two pension funds and was favored by the unions, who prefer cash from the state over I O U’s.  Legislative Democrats preferred that all additional surplus go into the rainy day fund… and this is what happened in the compromise budget plan we adopted.

While putting money into the rainy day fund is not a bad thing, it’s like placing the cookie jar on a higher shelf—it’s harder to get to, but not impossible.  For instance, a future legislature could intentionally spend its way into a deficit, which the comptroller would be forced to close by drawing on the rainy day fund.

I supported the eventual compromise budget adjustment plan because of its key components: no tax increases, full restoration of the Medicare Savings Plan, and increased funding to the Special Transportation Fund from the transfer of sales tax on cars.  It also preserves crucial municipal funding for our towns, like ECS and Town Aid Road grants, which the governor would have cut if this budget had not passed.

While we can all be happy that the state had a revenue windfall, the state’s underlying economic issues remain substantially unchanged. Connecticut’s economy shrank in 2017, and has now shrank in three of the past four years – all while the country as a whole is enjoying strong economic growth. We still need pro-growth reforms such as lower taxes, lower regulation, and state employee benefits that match the private sector. Republicans proposed reforms such as removing overtime from pension calculations after 2027, but these reforms were blocked.

In future legislative sessions, I intend to advocate for the long-term structural changes our state will need in order to end its persistent fiscal crisis.

As always, please email me at adam.dunsby@housegop.ct.gov if you have any questions about the state budget or any other piece of legislation from this session.  For information on other bills that were discussed this year, you can visit www.cga.ct.gov.

Rep. Dunsby Votes for Compromise Budget to Protect Local Education, MSP Funding

Posted on May 15, 2018 by rjoslyn


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HARTFORD – State Representative Adam Dunsby (R-135) on Wednesday praised the passage of a budget adjustment plan for the 2019 fiscal year.  The budget plan, which passed on a bipartisan vote before the end of the 2018 session, is the result of negotiations between Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate to make adjustments to the budget passed last October.

The Republican budget plan was called for a vote earlier in the day, but was defeated. This plan would have put a portion of surplus revenue into the underfunded teachers and state workers’ pension plans. Instead this money will go into the rainy day fund, where it could be spent by a future legislature.

Rep Dunsby emphasized the budget adjustments fulfill several of his key priorities for the session, including the protection of ECS funding, fully funding the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) for seniors, adding money to teachers’ healthcare accounts, and increasing funding to the Special Transportation Fund.  The budget adjustments do not contain any tax increases, a critical requirement Republicans insisted on. A one-time revenue increase of about $1 billion, mostly from the required repatriation of offshore investment company profits, allowed legislators more flexibility than expected.

“This budget adjustment plan was able maintain services and municipal aid without raising taxes because of one-time revenue gains,” said Rep Dunsby. “However, these revenue gains are temporary, and it is as important as ever that we implement pro-growth policies and restrain spending.”

The plan will also provide $29 million more to the Special Transportation Fund for road projects by accelerating the existing tax on new cars. The funding will ramp up dramatically in the coming years.

Republicans were able to negotiate several provisions from their original budget proposal into the final legislation, including a hard hiring freeze on new state employees to save $7 million.

Among the provisions in the compromise budget are:

–          $5 million for emergency placement for Department of Developmental Services patients

–          Reduce Energy Efficiency Fund sweeps by $10 million

–          $9.5 million for cost of living increases for private providers

Republicans also were successful in including some provisions for long-term structural changes, such as allowing for volunteerism at the local level to ease burdens on towns and cities, and hiring a consultant to come up with $500 million in savings for Connecticut.

Republicans also secured language in the legislation that would inhibit Gov. Malloy’s ability to cut funding for towns and cities as he did under his authority following the passage of the bipartisan budget last October.

“We still have a lot of goals to accomplish in future session, but I am proud of the way my caucus took the initiative to lead even though we are in the minority,” said Rep. Dunsby.